A battle is brewing over exiled Jonathan Moyo’s Tsholotsho North constituency, with war veterans vowing not to back anyone without military background and liberation struggle credentials.
The constituency’s Parliament seat was left vacant after Moyo unceremoniously skipped the border during the army-led Operation Restore Legacy which saw the ouster of Robert Mugabe.
Soon after Moyo’s departure, former senator Believe Gaule and retired major general Sibangumuzi Khumalo, both Zanu-PF, began to covertly position themselves for the vacant seat.
According to the primary elections list released last weekend, the two are going to face each other in what is set to be a bruising battle.
In a previous interview with Southern News, Gaule did not hide his intention to run for the seat, indicating he had the capacity to fill Moyo’s shoes.
It is, however, the declaration by war veterans that they will back Khumalo because of his war history that makes the campaign mouth-watering.
“We have opted for retired army major general Sibangumuzi Khumalo.
“We have since agreed that he will be our Member of Parliament.
“He is someone with army background, he is a war veteran and we are fully behind him.
“When you talk about that background to us it comes first and we can leave everyone to give support to one of us,” Tsholotsho district war vets leader John Dube said.
The war veteran took a dig at Gaule whom he accused of being greedy and a political flip-flopper.
“Gaule wants to be rich, I once worked with him in the district coordinating committee, he left us and joined the MDC and when he came back he was driving a nice car and he laughed at us for ‘being myopic’.
“We were together in forming the cell structures but he ran away.”
Asked about the chances of Khumalo beating Gaule in the party’s primary elections, the outspoken Dube said: “He has no chance, wait and see when we get to the ground.
“We are just waiting for the campaign to be announced officially then you will see what stuff we are made of.”
Contacted for comment Khumalo said he was willing to take up the task.
“It’s good that the comrades see that I have potential and perhaps capacity to become the next Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho north.
“I think it will help us develop the district.”
Dube said “Moyo was a hard worker to be honest but his actions are the ones that took him where he is now”.
“Remember this is not the first time he has been in problems with the party and now again he is in an almost similar scenario.
“Yes, he is a hard worker but now he is gone there is nothing we can do, we just need to replace him.”
Tsholotsho North constituency was left vacant after Jonathan Moyo went into exile.